More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:
Volatility reigned in oil markets on Monday, as the U.S. crude price fell 8% to $26.08 and Brent fell 3% to $33.05.
A group of the 20 largest industrial nations may meet virtually on Friday for an emergency energy summit, the day after Russia, Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing nations are scheduled to meet about a possible truce in the oil wars; Moscow and Riyadh both have indicated production cuts may require broad global agreement and compliance.
Renewable energy sources, now comprising more than 20% of U.S. electricity production, should continue to gain share in energy markets, despite abundant supply and low prices for fossil fuels.
U.S. stocks rallied 7% yesterday on hopes that the COVID-19 spread could be plateauing; international markets followed suit overnight. Credit markets have stabilized in response to massive governmental intervention.
A surge in applications under the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program could deplete the fund. Open to companies with fewer than 500 employees, larger firms in the restaurant and hospitality industries also are eligible and competing for the 1%-interest loans.
The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department are working on a program whereby the Fed will buy SBA loans, freeing banks to do more PPP lending.
Seventy-four percent of financial leaders surveyed indicate they plan to shift a portion of their workforces to remote work arrangements permanently.
China reported no COVID-19 deaths yesterday, the first time since January. Japan, Singapore and South Korea tightened social-distancing restrictions.
While we are seeing international PE pricing under downward pressure, Chinese futures pricing has been rising in recent days.
We are seeing demand for HDPE and PVC pipe grades stalled in international markets, while film grades for packaging and single-use bags remain steady.
NOTICE TO CLIENTS: M. Holland Company will be closed on Good Friday, April 10. Our Mexico operations will be closed on Thursday and Friday.
M. Holland is open for business, deemed essential and will continue to operate at full capacity. We have issued the following status statement:
In accordance with the guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), M. Holland Company is considered a member of a critical infrastructure industry and will therefore remain operative. As such, with any necessary accommodations made to ensure the health and safety of our staff and business partners, we will continue to fully perform our normal business operations.
M. Holland Company
We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.
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